Nichols pleads guilty to reduced charges in embezzling case

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By Shaina Stockton, Staff

Sharon Fulton Nichols, Rooftop of Virginia CAP’s former human resources manager, entered a guilty plea to three reduced charges of “accessory after the fact” in Grayson County Circuit court on March 21, in connection with another case involving three accounts of embezzlement from the non-profit agency.
Nichols’ charges were directly related to charges placed against Christina Leigh Bedsaul, Rooftop’s former executive director. Earlier this month, Bedsaul entered a no contest plea in circuit court to three embezzlement charges; as well as one count of forgery where she, according to evidence, signed Nichols’ name on a check for $3,500.
The evidence against Bedsaul was summarized during her plea hearing, and included several documents indicating that thousands of dollars had been moved from Rooftop funds in the form of “advanced salaries, or ‘free loans’ with no interest,” according to Grayson County Commonwealth Attorney Doug Vaught.
Nichols had initially been charged with three counts of embezzlement, as well, but her charges were amended to “accessory after the fact,” reducing each felony charge to a misdemeanor.
Judge Brett Geisler accepted Nichols’ guilty plea, and explained that her three charges would accrue a total of 36 months in the Virginia Department of Corrections. However, the jail sentence was suspended for good behavior.
She was given a total of six months of supervised probation, from which she could be released early if court costs are paid before that time.
Brandon Boyles, Nichols’ attorney, noted that she had already paid the full restitution costs in connection with her case.